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The Ears Have It!

by Gavin Heaton  |  
January 25, 2007
  |  1 view

We talk about listening to our customers. We talk about listening to our peers, our stakeholders and our teams. But really, when we talk about listening, I wonder whether we are really being attentive -- whether we take what we hear and turn it into something actionable. And I wonder whether we are really using the RIGHT kind of ears....

One of the things that blogs do REALLY well is open our listening ears.
I remember some time ago reading this post over at CK's blog. She had picked up on Drew McLellan's posts on his visit to Disney World and the lessons that his experience has for marketers. And after CK's success with the Voice-in PDF about why we blog (if you don't have one, grab a copy now), she challenged Drew to pull together this insight into a PDF that could be sent to his clients and prospects.
And the payoff?
Not ONLY happy customers ... but a smidgen of sillyness -- CK would, herself, don the mousketeer ears.
Well, Drew had his OWN ears on (ok Drew, where's the picture?) ... and he took that challenge. And the result is this great 11 page PDF that captures the essence of Drew's posts in a more versatile format. He has some great sections in the PDF, including:

  • Surprise (one of my current interests -- surprise marketing)

  • Privilege (turning purchase into something special!)

  • Dance with the one that brought you (my favourite)

This is a great example of listening to your audience. Disney World does it ... as shown by Drew's observations ... CK does it ... as shown by ... well, those ears ... and Drew does it ... as demonstrated by the PDF that he is now sharing with us all.
But the question for us all is ... are we listening too? Are we acting upon what we hear? And are we willing to go that extra mile to make it work? Are you big enough to wear the big ears? And are you up to the tag "marketeer"?
I think the ears have it!

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Gavin in VP & Principal Analyst with Constellation Research Group. He possesses extensive international experience in driving measurable outcomes via digital customer experience platforms, digital strategy and executing innovative content driven campaigns. With a background in enterprise technology innovation, digital strategy and customer engagement, Gavin connects the dots between disruptive technologies, enterprise governance and business leaders.

Most recently, Gavin led the customer experience, communication and social media programs for SAP's Premier Customer Network. And over the last 15 years, he has been at the forefront of innovative digital strategies for some of the world's leading companies - from IBM to Fujitsu - and on the agency side, leading the global digital strategy for McDonald's.

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  • by Cam Beck Thu Jan 25, 2007 via blog

    As it turns out, the use of the big ears for a "marketeer" is very funny AND poignant. Nice observation.

  • by Mario Vellandi Thu Jan 25, 2007 via blog

    Sweet deal on the PDF. I was going to offer to design one, but Drew took care of it well. Nice job!

  • by CK Thu Jan 25, 2007 via blog

    Great article/angle Gavin. When I spotted Drew's Series, and the dedication and time that went into it--on his family vacation, no less!--I just knew there was too great a risk of it not getting to the many people who could benefit from it. While we're all reading and benefiting from blogs, most of the industry is just not reading them regularly. Series such as Drew's give us great promo pieces that can delight clients, prospects and colleagues. And yeah, sometimes you need to get a little silly. Whatever gets the job done :-).

  • by Drew McLellan Thu Jan 25, 2007 via blog

    Gavin, Thanks for the nod. Your point is on the money. We all hear many things. How often do we have the courage, vision and/or moxie to get up and take action. That's what we challenge our clients to do -- get up and do something different! So, it seems only fitting that we should take some of our own advice. Of course, the prospect of seeing CK in the ears was plenty of motivation! Drew

  • by jeanne bliss Tue Jan 30, 2007 via blog

    Kudos to Drew. We all know that it takes a lot of well, (ears) to explain exactly what makes the magical kindgom magical. Alot of people characterize Walt Disney as becoming maniacal at the end of his career. But in fact, he just became more specific. Pulling off a purposeful experience for customers down the the street signs, what people are called (cast members) and how people would feel when they first see the magical castle takes a lot of time. Walt was likely up day and night envisioning his dream and then took the time to be specific about how it was enacted. Some might call that meniacal, I call it passionate. And Walt shares that passion with almost every leader who has gone on to build brands that customers love. Because these brands, these experiences don't happen on accident. Do you think Virgin Atlantic just happened? Do you think that the Mandarin Oriental's experienc just happened? NO! Someone took the time to envision the experience...then found a way to inspire others to deliver it. Bravo to Drew to helping us remember the master of pixie dust!

  • by Drew McLellan Tue Jan 30, 2007 via blog

    Jeanne, Even though we know better -- as marketers we sometimes forget that it is the little things that push a consumer's experience from okay/normal to something they've got to talk about. That was Walt's brilliance. He understood that to be worthy of buzz, his parks could not be pretty clean -- they had to be immaculate. His cast members couldn't be friendly, they had to be aggressively friendly. Every detail mattered to him. It could never be good enough. It had to be spectacular. And as you say -- that does not happen by accident. Anyone who has stood at the foot of Main Street and watched a child look down the street and see the castle for the first time understands the absolute power of Walt's wisdom. I'm so glad you enjoyed the series. Drew

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